Breaking Down Barriers at the Olympics
August 17, 2012
From the moment the Olympic torch is lit, people transcend the barriers of culture, race and language. Athletes from all over the world put aside their differences to compete on the world stage. However, it seems as though one barrier, the barrier between heterosexual people and people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) is less often broken. According to Time magazine, out of the 11,000 athletes in the Olympics, only 22 have publicly stated that they are lesbian, gay or bisexual.
The newest person to come out is South African archer, Karen Hultzer. The 46-year-old is quoted in Time as saying, “I am an archer, middle-aged and a lesbian.” She goes on to say, “I am also cranky before my first cup of coffee. None of these aspects define who I am, they are simply part of me.”
When an athlete, such as Hultzer, comes out, fans are better able to identify with people who are LGB. Hate is bred in ignorance, but Hultzer puts a face on lesbian athletes. Fans, who have been misled about what it means to be gay, may start to question their negative views on LGB people. In the long run, people just need to realize that there is no great barrier that divides people. We all just want to love, be loved and strive for the gold.
—Juliana Conway, 17, Staff Writer